Your scrapbook page canvas is the base upon which you build your page.
Our Creative Team takes on this challenge and shows you how a creative background provides a base for scrapbook page storytelling.
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Megan Blethen says, “I really love the cute photo here but I don’t have much of a story for it. My son was playing in his room and I have tons of layouts of those stories already. And so this page is a tribute to him at the age of four. He was always such a happy and smiley boy.”
“I love using mixed media on my layouts, but usually I just stick to using one medium at a time. Here I used watercolors on the background and Shimmerz Paints for the flowers. The two different mediums add fun texture and create interest.”
“Watercolor backgrounds are a favorite of mine. You can’t really mess this up–and I’m a perfectionist so that is a big thing for me. The watercolor is fun and free-flowing so anyway you use it, it looks perfect. I used little paint brushes to draw continuous circles to form the flowers. Again, with these, perfectionism isn’t a big deal because they’re meant to look free handed.”
Tip: My biggest tip with mixed media is to play around and keep at it. It’s meant to be a fun addition to your layouts, let yourself go and enjoy the process. There’s no right or wrong!
Terry Billman says, “The River Walk in San Antonio is the perfect place to stroll along the river or sit on a restaurant patio and enjoy the evening. The canvas here was created by digitally blending two papers, stamping stains, and splatters. I used a paper with the blue sky and a solid paper for the bottom of the canvas. I blended my two favorite photos of the River Walk into the canvas, added a texture to the water to give a ripple effect and pieces of textured tape outlining the water’s edge. I also used a stain brush, with varied colors and blending modes, to accentuate the edge of the water.”
Tip: I am quite fond of using different blending modes on photos to make them more vivid. In this layout I duplicated the photo twice and applied a soft light blending mode on the top layer, screen mode on the second layer, and normal on the bottom layer.
Shanna Hystad says, “This page tells the story of my daughter smelling tulips at three different times over the last 15 years. I used watercolor pencils and sewing on the background. These are two very different techniques but complement each other well. The sewing has more of a defined line and the watercolor pencils have more burred lines, both adding interest to the layout. I knew I wanted to create tulips with the pencils. I haven’t drawn in a long, long, time so I am still rather rusty. The watercolor pencils were not as vibrant as I hoped. I don’t think the ones I used were artistic grade so that may have something to do with the muted colors. However, they are fun to use.
Tip: Sewing around the circular pattern was a great way to accent the shape. The first time around with the sewing machine I realized that the circle was too perfect. My second time around I tried to create a less perfect pattern. This is a challenge for someone who is known to be a perfectionist.
Kristy T. says, “This page is about my son’s love of all sorts of games. It shows just one of the games he has created himself.”
“I combined multiple colors of Dylusions spray inks with black distress paint through a stencil over the dried inks. I love combining bright colors and black, as the black provides contrast and works well with any saturated colors. This combination works well here because whenever I see my son’s creations, I imagine the creativity just bursting out of him so this was a good way to represent that visually. The black squares provide another layer to the page and echo the squares drawn as part of his game.”
Tip: When creating a background using multiple colors of water based inks it is important to let them dry in between adding colors. This reduces the chance of colors mixing and giving muddy results. Distress paint is a very fluid paint so it will seep under the stencil if applied directly from the dabber so it is best to use a sponge or cut n dry foam to sponge the paint over the stencil.
Jana Oliveira says, “This is a page with pictures of my boys walking and having a good time together in this new city.”
“I like to combine texture and mediums. It is a lot of fun and brings interest to my pages. As a digital scrapper digital mediums give me the opportunity to give a touch of realism to my pages. Sometimes it’s cool to emulate what paper can do without the mess. I use paint, gesso and stamping overall. Because the picture mask is not totally blended it has the look of a picture transfer used on paper projects. The paper border adds texture with a traditional layer cluster.”
Tip: To prevent the layout from getting too overwhelming I like to start with solid paper or a paper with some white space. I start with random paint and stamping and play with paint, gesso, brushes and textures. From there I’d finish with traditional elements as I did with the word strips, paper borders, staple and plastic word art.
Christy Strickler says, “I built a tent fort from a blanket for my cats to play in.”
“I knew that I wanted to use tents as the motif on my page, but I only had one small size stamp. After stamping on the watercolor paper, I drew a larger tent similar to the stamp. It wasn’t too hard to draw the stamp in a larger size since the stamp I had chosen was a simple design. I used watercolor crayons and a waterbrush to create a campsite style scene. I purposefully kept the scene simple, without too many details as I didn’t want to take too much attention away from the photos. Machine stitching helps to frame the scene and the photos I place inside the watercolor paper. ”
Marcia Fortunato says, “I find hiking in the springtime to be a very messy activity, but the opportunity to do something with my husband and son makes it worthwhile. This layout is about a recent messy hike with the two of them.”
“I wanted to emphasize the muckiness of the trails we hiked, so I combined three stamps, two splatter stamps and one with footprints. I wanted it to look like the boots had walked through puddles and left muddy footprints. I used acrylic paint for the splatters to give them a bit of texture, then stamped the footprints over the top with ink. To add just a little more dirt, I used a smaller splatter stamp, but in this case I loaded the stamp with ink, stamped first onto a piece of scrap paper and then onto my page so that the stamp was a bit more subtle. Together they immediately convey my message that spring hiking is messy!”
“I like the effect I was able to achieve by using the thickness of the acrylic paint for texture but also the ease of ink for the majority of the stamping.”
Tip: When doing this, make sure that the paint has dried completely before stamping over it. You may also want to test to make sure that your ink will easily dry and not smear on the acrylic paint, but normal ink seemed to work just fine.